After an eighteen-month mission in India, Dancer & Designer Renee Kurz spent more than a month with us in our Brooklyn Center. Here is her account of her ’Between Homes Experience’, as she puts it.
One month after I was home in Arkansas… from my home in India… I returned to my home in New York. And the month and a half I spent with my Brooklyn Heart’s Home family comforted my heart with the truth that I will forever have a home within Heart’s Home. A home whose door they assure me is always open… with a welcome that calms the storm within a transition full of tender mourning for the life I had discovered in mission and now the realm of possibilities for the endless “what’s next?” questions. It’s about going from an awareness of standing at the edge of my life, the finality of my life, in a context that always led me into the mystery and meaning… back, but really a forward back, into the familiar unknown reality of home. Proving to be almost even more challenging than when I arrived in India… because now my eyes have changed and the criteria by which I want to live has been transformed.
How easy it is to return to a complacency that kills the mystery, or fogs my eyes from regarding His presence among us here, in a place that I’ve seen before; a place that does not have the firefly twinkling trees or the ropes of scented jasmine buds… the flocking to me of bright eyed children in the street or the contemplative grandmother awaiting my passing by. The mission is filled with many special graces that enlarges the eye of the soul, and this enlarging I believe is allowed then, to serve me now. My time in Heart’s Home Brooklyn was a gift to continue the teaching of my heart, so that I may see the clusters of light in the dark and the cry within the smiles of my people, my family, and my friends. Discovering little by little how to continue living the mission of compassion immersed within the culture of dance and design. Discoveries that occurred in the simple acts of meeting friends for coffee, visiting the nursing home, taking dance classes, sewing clothes, praying with the community, welcoming visitors, and sharing about my mission. And the biggest discovery: unity within all of who I am does not arrive out of my willing it nor out of my own efforts— it is given. But I must be awake to receive the gift.
I arrived in Brooklyn at the beginning of May, right in the midst of the organizing and putting on of the annual Heart’s Home fundraising gala. Preparing table décor, proof-reading speeches, making my dress… loading the van, setting the tables, folding the napkins… turning the National Bohemian Hall on the Upper East Side of Manhattan into a space with demonstrates our efforts to create a home for everyone’s heart. It was a very special moment for me to witness the expansion and growth of Heart’s Home USA; I was full of immense gratitude to be a part of such a great thing. I, along with many present, realized further or even for the first time how much I need the friendship of Heart’s Home in my life. Hearing the words of the artist Sean Scully say in receiving the Compassion Award that “We do the same thing”… both striving to re-humanize a culture that devalues the dignity of human life. Re-humanizing through his eye of simplicity and beauty and purity of line; through the way he lives his life. I want my art to live out of this same gaze of compassion.